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India’s climate ‘crusaders’ and dancers

Kolkata: Are you ready to witness a tale about climate change and its hazards? For a Kolkata-based choreographer, Sudarshan Chakravorty has conceptualized – Ekonama: The Beginning in the End.

As the name suggests, Ekonama, makes the audience witness the hardship that humans would have to endure, if the environment is damaged beyond repair. Through this one hour performance, Sudarshan, wants the power packed dance drama to move the audience.

Dancing for environment

“We read about climate change almost every alternate day. But the moment we close the book or report, we tend to forget all about it. Initially, we had planned this show with school and college students, as part of a fellowship programme, sponsored by Microsoft. The 15 minute performance was called Ekoboom. We got phenomenal response for it and that made us covert it into a full-fledged hour-long performance,” Sudarshan told eNewsroom.

Understanding the magnitude of the issue that they were addressing, Sudarshan, had brought in choreographers and composers from Turkey, Singapore and even Canada to give the performance a much needed punch. The performance was a fusion of both contemporary and Chhau dance.

Speaking about the journey, he said, “The journey has not been that easy. When I began my contemporary dance academy, two decades ago, people barely knew about this dance form. But that didn’t deter me from channeling my energy in this dance academy.”

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Addressing social issues

He then added, “I have always tried addressing social issues through my dance performances. Like Ekonama, we have done shows addressing issues like homosexuality, climate change and more. We need to use art to reach out to people, to sensitize them, as it’s a better way of making people aware.”

However, Sudarshan maintained that even today, for a dancer to survive in India is difficult. “There exists sharp discrimination between local and international artist. This is not justified. Take the example of Ekonama, we have been getting international recognition but we are yet to that kind of a support from the society or the government.” He then added, “We have got a grant from the Ministry of Culture, but I guess they don’t even have much idea about why we were given this grant.”

Spreading the word

Needless to say that at a time when pollution and climate change is threatening our civilization, it becomes absolutely mandatory to spread awareness about the same. “We understand this and thus are doing our duty. We will be taking Ekonama to Mumbai in December and then to Jaipur in February. But doing all on our own is a bit strenuous. But we are not complaining, as its story which needs to be shared.”

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